May 30, 2019
VISTA MATTERS: Closing Time, Prep for Fall
VISTA Closed Jul 1 - Aug 16

VISTA gardens will be formally closing for six weeks this summer.

This decision was made for the following reasons:
  1. It's HOT!
  2. Summer vacations
  3. Soil needs time to rest and rejuvenate

The garden previously had an option to plant flowers or ground cover during summer but it resulted in unkempt beds and a vast amount of weeds. This created an immense amount of work to clear and prep beds for fall.

Plan to prep and close your bed on or before July 1 by reading the article below. It's pretty straightforward and you will be glad you prepared now so you have happy soil for fall planting.

(If you have an interest in what's growing in the raised 'boat' bed this summer, contact Roberta for details)
Community events will resume in September!


AT A GLANCE

Members Please : Assistance STILL Needed

We are sad to report that no one has contacted MJ to offer support for this request.

If you have not volunteered in some way this year to help maintain the garden beyond your bed (you know who you are!), please, please, please make this small effort to support those who are here year 'round, turning the compost to make the soil that you are happy to take for your beds.

Please call MJ Wentzel (813-215-0780) and coordinate to take a shift.

Thank you!
NEW VISTA Web Site and Online Store!
The VISTA web site has recently moved to a new platform with enhanced services including an online store and direct volunteer sign up calendar. Check it out!
Fall Seedlings: Order Today!
The 'House of the Rising Seeds' is now taking seedling orders for eggplant, tomatoes and peppers. The seedlings will be ready in time for fall planting. Fact sheets for available varietals can be found by clicking on this link

A donation of $2.00 per seedling is requested to support the expense of growing seedlings and maintenance.

Limit 2 seedlings per varietal, per purchase. Only members with active VISTA bed rentals are eligible to order. Any order placed by a non-member will be cancelled. If you are unsure of your status, contact the Membership chair .

There are TWO ways to submit your order and donation:
  1. Use the new VISTA online store. Enter code 'SEEDSTORE' to access the page. You also may pay online using Paypal*.
  2. Order using the sign up sheet located in the shed. Place your donation in the black drop box next the order sheet. For safety, security and audit purposes, checks are preferred (made payable to VISTA Gardens).

Questions? Contact the HRS Chair.

*A $0.34 cost per seedling is added online to offset third party processing costs... ah, capitalism!
Six Simple Steps to Close Your Bed for Summer
Earlier this month, David Whitwam and Bill West hosted an education session covering the six easy steps to close your bed for the summer. Barb Mahlmeister graciously shared the following notes:

When closing your bed:
  1. Chop plants down to roots at soil level
  2. Don't water for at least two weeks
  3. Then pull roots and shake them around the entire bed
  4. Take unbroken down compost and put in your bed
  5. Turn the bed and you can optionally work in worm castings, but do not add amendments
  6. Secure black landscaping cloth or nursery cloth over bed

Tidbits:
  1. Make sure cloth is secure by placing heavy items on top, or using landscape staples. This important as it will help prevent weeds and protect the soil from nutrient loss
  2. It is not necessary to put mulch on top of cloth
  3. It is not necessary to sift the bed soil to remove roots, rocks, wood, but you can if you would like
  4. Ground cover is not recommended as it leaches nutrients from the soil
Don't Forget: Pick Up Your Shirt!
Barb still has shirt orders waiting to be claimed. Please contact her by clicking here to arrange a pick up time.